By Sandi Durell
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” – – I’m always at the same place I’ve been for many years – celebrating our marvelous treasure Marilyn Maye at the Metropolitan Room. No better place to bring in the New Year! If it’s possible for her to be better than ever, then that’s my unbiased definitive review!
Better still, you can still revel in the unprecedented performance artistry that makes up the totality and uniqueness of this jazz great who, we all know by now, is the ultimate storyteller of song. At the tender age of 88, she’s still doing those famous kicks, her voice as strong as ever, a glam queen in sequin sparkle. She continues the celebration – “Marilyn By Request” – January 5, 6, 7, 11,12,13,14 at 7 pm. Don’t be left out!
She had a particularly good time bringing in 2017 with her long time pianist and friend Billy Stritch, along with prized musicians Tom Hubbard on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums. Her upcoming run will feature either Billy Stritch or Tedd Firth, on piano, on varying dates.
As soon as Ms. M entered the room, making her way around to greet everyone, the thunderous applause began and continued on and on. Without a doubt, “It’s Today” – just pour the scotch out!
New Year’s Eve featured a little bit of this and a little bit of that . . . the fabulous “That Face” and Smile medley, along with the an ode to ole Blue Eyes “Fly Me to the Moon”/”Come Fly With Me.” For those who don’t know or remember the story, Marilyn Maye is here because of the vision of the one and only Steve Allen, the man who wrote over 8000 songs and gave Marilyn her first exposure . . . television wise! “This Could Be The Start of Something Big” – and, oh boy, was it ever! That launched her recording career, 76 appearances on the Johnny Carson Show, lots of bread, bank and bug killer commercials – the most well known for Lincoln/Mercury automobiles in 1967 – Will everyone here, kindly step to the rear and let a Winner lead the way. . .
And she’s still going strong with loads of performance dates on her upcoming calendar at the best venues around the country and in New York.
Special guest was the uber talented film director, writer John Cameron Mitchell best known for Hedwig and the Angry Inch (with composer Stephen Trask) in which he also starred. In 2014 Hedwig, with Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall, won four Tony Awards. John is currently directing a film starring Nicole Kidman.
John fell for Marilyn at the Provincetown Festival and it was a joyful occasion hearing them duet on “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now.” More to come, I’m sure!
Whatever you do, don’t miss the supreme Marilyn Maye while she’s in town!
www.MetropolitanRoom.com 212 206-0440 “Marilyn By Request” – January 5, 6, 7, 11,12,13,14
Photos/Video: Sandi Durell
Or as noted: Maryann Lopinto